Unveiling My Secret to Staying Fit (Part 1)

Unveiling My Secret to Staying Fit (Part 1)

Now that I got you to click on this article, I can quickly apologize because if you were expecting to uncover deeply hidden secrets to staying fit, I am here to burst your bubble because the secret is…there’s no secret. I know, I know…I can almost hear the collective “Ha?! Walang sikreto?” But wait, don’t go. What I do have are tidbits of (conventional) wisdom that helped shaped my personal convictions concerning health and fitness. Also, disclaimer: I am NOT a health professional nor a certified fitness coach. I’m a wife, homeschooling, full-time Mama of four (ages 5-14) who incorporates fitness into our very busy family life.

Over the years of exploring different approaches to health and fitness here’s one thing I’ve learned about staying fit–there is no one-size-fits-all approach.

Being fit is more than just a number on the scale.

When I think about being fit, I think of being in the best shape that I can be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Good health takes into account not just my reflection in the mirror and how I feel about shopping for swimsuits but also my stress levels, moods, sleep quality, mental clarity, focus, my monthly cycle, skin condition, etc.

My long-term goal is to not be on any medications as I age and to not have to see a doctor except for periodic wellness checks. So, I pay attention to not only the oft-repeated “diet and exercise” but also minimizing stress, getting adequate quality sleep and engaging in activities that improve my mood as well as my mental wellbeing. What are YOUR health indicators and long-term goals?

Working out is a celebration, not a punishment for something I ate.

Celebration of what? You might ask laughingly as you remember mumbling and crying during the last time you exercised. It’s a celebration of my God-given ability to move and for the strength and breath that I still have to stand, walk, run, lift, and bend. Not everybody still has these abilities. So, I find ways to move and be active as much as I can.

Because the pandemic has forced me to stay indoors, I have had to be a bit creative. We live in a multi-level apartment and so I use the stairs to work up a sweat by going up and down for a set number of times, or setting a timer and sprinting up and down as many times as I can within the allotted time. Sometimes I carry extra hand weights (jugs of water will do) or skipping one or two steps on the way up. Another favorite is having a dance party with the kids. We pick a playlist on Amazon Music, Spotify, or YouTube and just start showing off our moves. The bigger and sillier the moves the better.

Before we know it, we all collapse into a sweaty, laughing heap on the sala floor. Also, during rainy season, the kids get excited when they see rain clouds forming and droplets starting to hit the windows. They rush to change clothes and barring any lightning we drop everything and run outside to play in the rain. This is one thing I really enjoyed from my own childhood and I’m glad I get to redo with our children.

For you KDrama-loving mamas, watch an episode while using a machine like a treadmill, elliptical, or bike. If you don’t have one, get up during commercials and do some jumping jacks/march/jog in place, walk back and forth from the TV to the kitchen/CR or the farthest point of your room until your show comes back on. If you’re at the mall, skip the elevator and use the stairs, even walk up the escalator instead of standing still and riding it (if nobody else is in front of you, of course!). The point is, find ways to add movement to your day.

(Note: Part 2 of this article will be in the next issue. You may also watch the short video demonstrating Faith’s routine.)